Overdue? Try having sex to induce labour

Being past your due date can be additional stress for any pregnant woman. You are not just uncomfortable due to your big belly, but you also think of your child’s safety. As a baby spends more time in the womb, there is some concern due to placental deterioration. However, most women would like to avoid having a medically induced labour. So this is where natural ways to induce labour come in.

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How sex can induce labour

There are no proven studies to show that sex can actually bring on labour. However, there are some medical facts that can explain the link between the two.

  • Sperm contains prostaglandins that can promote uterine contractions. They can also aid in softening the cervix and preparing it for delivery. 
  • Orgasm during sex also leads to uterine contractions that can bring on labour.
  • Sexual stimulation and movement during sexual intercourse can aid in inducing labour naturally.

Inducing labour through sex has proven to work for many women. However, a baby will most likely be born when it is ready and when the mother’s body is ready. For example, trying to induce labour if the cervix is not ready will most likely not work. Thus, for many women the sex method proves unsuccessful.

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Risks of having sex to induce labour

If your water has broken, you should refrain from having sexual intercourse. The uterine environment needs to remain free of germs. Having sex at this time could increase the risk of infection. There are also other medical reasons for which a woman should try to refrain from inducing labour herself. These include:

  • Placenta previa
  • Abnormal placental positioning
  • If there is any vaginal bleeding present
  • Abnormal fetal positioning
  • Uterine rupture risk
  • Cervical issues

Generally, if there is any pregnancy complication it is best to seek medical advice right away. Trying to induce labour through sex in such a situation can be risky and dangerous. Your doctor or midwife will monitor the mother and baby before determining whether a medical induction is needed or not. In some cases, waiting until 42 weeks of pregnancy is recommended if there are no other medical complications.

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There are also other natural ways to bring on labour that can be more appropriate for some women. The best thing is to ask your midwife or doctor. Depending on your medical and pregnancy history, they can recommend other alternatives.

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